Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Millar: New Stadium doesn't Cowboy Up

Via Andrew Fitzpatrick, Kevin Millar on the Power Alley show on the MLB Home Plate channel on Sirius XM radio takes some digs at the new Stadium:

Host, Jim Duquette: “What’s your impression of the new Yankee Stadium?”

Kevin Millar: “I’m going to be honest with you. You know I’m going to shoot from the hip. I’m not a big fan of it. Nothing pops there, nothing pops. The old stadium, you walked in, you knew this was where [Mickey] Mantle played and [Joe] DiMaggio. It was just that old school.

I got booed a lot louder. They didn’t boo me as loud here. I like to get booed. They were too nice to me here. They’re too nice to me. I don’t know if it’s all corporate, but they’re too nice. But it’s just like a big, huge – it’s a beautiful facility, don’t get me wrong – but the navy blue seats, a lot of concrete and nothing pops. I mean, nothing pops there, personally. Now, it was our first trip in and I don’t know if I was expecting more, but that’s the truth and it’s just I loved the old stadium.”

Host, Seth Everett: “Is it impossible to ever live up to that old stadium?”

Millar: “It’s not impossible, but yes, all the comeback wins and all the memories there, of course, it’s going to take time. And this is year no. 1 and there’s some tinkers. Like for one, you know, it’s a beautiful scoreboard but they have the radar gun readings at the very top of the scoreboard with the pitch count.

Fans want to know how hard the pitcher’s throwing, for instance. You come to the game, you want to see, ‘Yeah, Brandon League’s on the mound, he’s throwing 90-what?’ You don’t want to have to look around the stadium to find it, and this is at the very top, a very little scene up there with your miles per hour where most stadiums have them above the dugouts on the second tier of the second deck so you can kind of see it easier.

You know, it was hard to read what the guy’s hitting for the batting average. It was tough to find certain things. And for a stadium that’s got $1.5 billion in it, you would think it had been just some easier scenes, and I’m just using those as examples and those might be nit-picking. But for the monuments: I wish they would’ve pulled the monuments up so you could see the monuments. I mean, they’re behind center field and it’s kind of blocked off with the hitter’s eye so you don’t even see them.

At least in the old stadium, left center, you kind of saw them a little bit, glimpsed through over there from the bullpen area, and when you’d hit a home run to left center they’d bounce in the monuments. So there’s some things that, in my opinion, nothing’s really popping out. But it’s a gorgeous scene, I guess, for the fans inside - the food, the televisions, all the marble and stuff. But from what we see as a player, you walk in the lobby and it was straight concrete. We walk in the locker room, beautiful locker rooms, but it was just, it was OK, personally.”

I'm torn between trying to point out that Millar went from being a Red Sox to an Oriole to a Blue Jay and thinking that he has some valid points.

The crowd is way, way too quiet.

Monument Park does need to be moved.

The big thing is, though, what made the old Stadium so special was everything that happened ON the field. Eighty-plus years of history.

The new Stadium is only in year one. It's going to take some time.